Northern Lights: Norway & Sweden

December 19, 2014

The Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis to give it its proper name, is a natural phenomenon which can only be witnessed in parts of the northern hemisphere. Once seen, never forgotten, the famous Northern Lights appear on clear nights between September and March, painting the skies with lashings of cosmic colour in waves of elliptical shapes. It might be a cliché, but the lights simply have to be seen to be believed.

Although the lights have been seen as far south as Scotland, Scandinavia is without doubt the best area in Europe to see the Northern Lights.

Norway and Sweden in particular have plenty of provisions available for tourists who want to see one of the planet’s most fascinating natural occurrences.

Tromso in Norway has been recommended as one of the best places to watch the Northern Lights due to its unblemished surrounding regions. Tromso also hosts the Northern Lights Festival every year in January, a music festival which takes place under the stars and includes artists from jazz, classical, soul and other genres. In the unspoiled countryside around Tromso you can go on snowmobile safari and Northern Lights cruises to help guarantee an unforgettable experience.

The best areas to spot the Northern Lights are remote places away from the light pollution of cities. Sollia, on the border of Russia and Norway, is the ideal spot. Stay at the Sollia Gjestegård hotel and you can also enjoy a meal at the hotel restaurant which is considered one of the best in Norway.

Bjorkliden in northern Sweden is situated in the shadow of a mountain range, making it the perfect place to go aurora-spotting, with ideal conditions thanks to the weather-shadow provided by the mountains. Go on an overnight dog-sledding journey to a rural area and gave up at the lights as you travel through the long, dark arctic night.

Albisko National Park is another area of Sweden which is ecologically perfect for the Northern Lights. The park sits in the middle of “blue hole” meaning the sky above the park remains clear, even when the surrounding area is overcast. Take a chair-lift up the Abisko Park Sky Station for incredible views of the park as well as the lights.

The Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi only has a few hundred residents, but it is also home to the magnificent Ice Hotel, where you can enjoy a truly memorable Northern Lights experience. The staff at the hotel oganise tours and expeditions to see nature’s greatest light show in action.

The Northern Lights are on the bucket list of many travellers, and with so many options of places to see them in Scandinavia, you’re sure to have a totally personal experience with mother earth’s theatre.

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